White resigns from recreation commission citing ‘terrible decisions of the RDN’

School board to ask RDN to retain commission

Randy White has resigned from the District 69 Recreation Commission.

The commissioner from Electoral Area G (Dashwood, Englishman River, French Creek) tendered his resignation to the chair of the commission, Stuart McLean, on April 17.

“The terrible decisions of the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo) regarding community projects, its inability to be open with citizens and the latest move to remove unelected citizens from the recreation commission all affected my decision,” White wrote in his resignation letter. “I meet very few people who have much good to say about the RDN.”

This is the second resignation the RDN has received following the board’s decision on April 9 at its committee of the whole meeting to scrap the recreation commission, the District 69 Community Justice Select Committee and the Northern Community Economic Development Select Committee. Recreation commissioner for Area F, Reg Nosworthy, tendered his resignation at the RDN on April 10.

The board passed a motion presented by Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers to direct staff to report on establishing a new Northern Communities Select Committee, comprised of the RDN directors for Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Electoral Areas E, F, G, and H to replace the roles and responsibilities of the three District 69 advisory groups.

RELATED: RDN will eliminate District 69 rec commission

RELATED: How many times are we going to put this on hold and go back into study mode?

White feels the elected RDN members are the problem and considers it a disaster for Parksville Qualicum Beach and surrounding areas.

“I have never left a position through resignation and this is a first in 70 years and has truly been a disappointment after such a short period,” White indicated. “I have many years in municipal political activities and as a Member of Parliament for over a decade, thought I brought something to the table that could help, but I found out the RDN is quite oblivious to the future needs of Parksville. It is clear to me that Area G should become a part of Parksville city through the Municipal Governance Act as the City could not possibly do a worse job.”

Meanwhile, School District 69’s board of education, which has trustee Elaine Young as SD69 representative in the recreation commission, raised concerns about the RDN’s decision to disband the group.

The board feels it would lose a valuable voice at the table reflecting the needs of families within the district. As well, the board believes input from community members provides unique and needed non-politically motivated perspective.

The board has recommended chairwoman Eve Flynn write a letter to the RDN board of directors requesting that either they keep the recreation commission as a separate advisory commission with representation of a school board trustee and community members, or that they place a school board trustee as well as community members as voting participants on their newly formed advisory committee.

Ann McVey of the Ravensong Action Group, which has been advocating for Ravensong Aquatic Pool to be upgraded due to overcrowding conditions, is disappointed as well. She said they already have a guiding document when the District 69 Recreation Services Master Plan was completed last year. The plan had similar conclusions to the 2004 study reported. She now questions the board’s rationale not to proceed with the three priorities the rec commission had recommended.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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